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by Scott Westerfeld
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1.Why can’t Alek inherit the Austro-Hungarian empire from his father?
2.Why did Wildcount Volger and Otto Klopp smuggle Alek out in the middle of the night? Why did they tell him it was a lesson and not an escape?
3.What do you know about the history of WWI? Which parts of this story are true, and which are made up?
4.What is steampunk?
5.What is a Cyklop Stormwalker?
6.What happened to Alek’s parents? Why did he have to flee?
7.Why does Deryn want to join the British air service? What is her major obstacle to entrance, and how does she get around it?
8.Who—or what—are the Clankers and the Darwinists?
9.What does it mean to be a Monkey Luddite?
10.How does the air service test for “air sense”? What is it, and does Deryn have it?
11.Who is hunting for Alek? Why?
12.What is a Huxley ascender, and why is it a bad idea to be up in one during a storm?
13.How did Darwin’s experiments change the landscape of this fictional version of early 20th century London?
14.What is the Leviathan? Describe the airship.
15.What kinds of things did Alek have to learn to do on the run? Why?
16.What events sparked the war between the Clankers and the Darwinists? How might Alek make his mark on history?
17.What extra cargo was stowed in the Stormwalker? Why?
18.Why was it “bloody exhausting, being a boy”?
19.What are the bats for? How are they controlled?
20.What is a kraken?
21.Why did Alek, Klopp and Volger go into Lienz? What mistake did Alek make that almost gave them away?
22.What did Alek’s father never allow him to be photographed or sketched?
23.Why was the Leviathan tasked with bringing Dr. Barlow to Constantinople?
24.What is Tazza? Is a thylacine (Tasmanian tiger) actually real?
25.Why is Dr. Barlow a danger to Deryn?
26.What is the Herkules, and why was it stationed on the border between Austria and Switzerland?
27.How did Deryn secure her place on the Leviathan?
28.How do bees connect cats and clover? Can you think of any other unexpected webs?
29.Why did the Leviathan crash-land in the Alps?
30.Why did Alek’s father buy the castle in the Alps and stock it with food, etc.?
31.What important secret was Volger keeping from Alek? How did the scroll signed and sealed by the Pope change his future?
32.Why did Alek sneak out to help the crew of the Leviathan after it crash-landed, even though the Darwinists are supposed to be his enemies?
33.What happened to Dr. Barlow’s precious cargo? Why can’t she tell Deryn what is in the eggs?
34.What did Dr. Barlow notice about the thermometer that made her suspicious of Deryn and curious about Alek?
35.What difficultures did the crew of the Leviathan face in getting the ship airborn again?
36.What is a sliding escape?
37.Why did Deryn take Alek hostage?
38.What do you think would have happened if Alek had not snuck out to help the crew of the Leviathan?
39.Why did Volger pretend not to speak English? Why did Dr. Barlow pretend she could only read German, but not speak it?
40.Why is Deryn a real soldier, while Alek, despite all his training, is not?
41.Why did the Germans come after the Leviathan?
42.How did Alek wreck the Stormwalker?
43.How did Alek and Dr. Barlow concoct a plan to get both the Darwinists and the Clankers out of the Alps and back on course to the Ottoman Empire? Why was this destination beneficial to everyone?
44.What did Count Volger add to the Leviathan’s load that almost cost them everything? Why did he do this?
45.What happened when the crew of the Leviathan mixed their Darwinist technology with Alek’s Clanker technology?
46.What is the Osman? Why did Winston Churchill’s seizure of the ship pose a huge problem to the British war effort?
47.Just who is Dr. Barlow, anyway?
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